Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The "New Face of G.O.P." Brings Same Old Shit Rhetoric and Bully Tactics

Photo: The New York Times
Last Friday the Republican National Committee elected as its chairman Michael Steele---the first African American to hold the position in the party's 155-year history.

While Steele, a former lieutenant governor from Maryland who lost a bid for the Senate in 2006, represents a break from the whitey-white Republican past, he brings to the table an even brasher and brawnier (and dumber?) style to politic-ing than the Elephants have been known for historically.

With Steele at the helm, the "new face" of the Republican Party has thrown its contempt at the bipartisanship that President Obama has made one of the stylistic touchstones of his first weeks in office. That became clear from the moment Steele took the job on Friday, as he invited Obama to join him in the muddy ring of politics.

“It’s going to be an honor to spar with him,” Steele said, before throwing down the gauntlet to Obama with: “How ya like me now?” Great, what we really need, as the nation is in the throes of a devastating depression, is some maverick mo-mo showboating as Kool Moe Dee.

On Saturday, Steele appeared at a retreat for House Republicans where he celebrated their refusal to give Obama a single vote for his economic recovery plan in language that was at the very least eyebrow-raising, given the country's economic problems and the valid concern of some Republicans for the future of the G.O.P.

“The goose egg you laid on the president’s desk was just beautiful,” he said. For those whose memories need jogging, this is the same bozo who, if he didn’t invent what became the signature chant of the Republican presidential campaign, certainly popularized it when he spoke at the Republican National Convention in Minnesota. “Drill, baby, drill,” he said, grinning broadly as the crowd picked up the slogan and repeated it for nearly 30 seconds.

Sometimes there is nothing one can do but shake his head in amazement at the stupidity of this...grand old party, which seems to have sabotaged and derailed itself so far off the tracks of reality that it's become the laughingstock of civilized people around the world.

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